“Star Wars: Kobe Bryant Was The Inspiration For A Character In The Clone Wars”
The late Kobe Bryant once served as the inspiration behind a tactical droid that appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Bryant, who played the entirety of his 20-season NBA career as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, was arguably one of the best athletes to ever play the sport. After retiring in 2016, Bryant entered his second-act and kicked off the new chapter of his life as an Oscar winner in 2018. Here’s how Bryant’s legacy involves Star Wars and the connection he had to the franchise.
Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on 26 January, 2019. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also tragically passed along with seven other victims. The news instantly took the world by storm considering Bryant was one of the most beloved athletes throughout the globe. The night before the incident, LeBron James overtook Bryant’s spot for third on the all-time scoring list in the NBA. Condolences and tributes continue to pour in for the five-time NBA champion, as well as the fellow victims, but some fans might be unaware of his connection to Star Wars.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series set in the fictional galaxy first created by George Lucas, debuted in 2008. In season 3 of the show, a distinct T-series tactical droid was introduced. This droid was named K2-B4 and featured a purple and yellow color scheme. The development of the droid was no coincidence as the creators purposely modeled the character after Lakers great, Kobe Bryant. The design matched the Lakers’ colors and the name of the droid was directly inspired by Bryant’s initials and his jersey number 24. K2-B4 appeared in three episodes in 2011, the year after Byrant led the Lakers to back-to-back championships. During the Clone Wars, K2-B4 served the Confederacy of Independent Systems and assisted Commander Osi Sobeck. Bryant’s connection to The Clone Wars wouldn’t be the last time his legacy intertwined with Star Wars.
In April 2013, Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon that kept him out of the game for a lengthy amount of time. The athlete returned in December of the next season and as part of his comeback, he walked out onto the court to the Star Wars “Imperial March” theme. Bryant took a cue from Darth Vader in that memorable moment which was a nod to previously comparing himself to the complicated villain. Even more interesting was the fact that Bryant once shared that he spoke to Star Wars‘ legendary composer, John Williams, for leadership advice.
After stepping away from the game of basketball, Bryant continued with his influence on the community with creative endeavors. When his animated short, Dear Basketball, won the Academy Award in 2018, the presenter for the award was none other than Mark Hamill, the actor who portrayed Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. John Williams also happened to be the composer for Bryant’s award-winning short. Bryant is leaving behind a huge legacy and with his tribute in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and his obvious love for the franchise, he will always be cemented in the galaxy far, far away
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